Militant Nostalgia curated by Paco Barragán100 Plastic Containers for Human Corpses, 2016
In this installation, the artist has stacked a flatbed truck with seemingly innocuous boxes, which have the appearance of large archival storage cases. They are, in fact, grave liners. Produced in the U.S., their purpose is to ensure that coffins – and their contents – are preserved long after burial.
Though functionally quite ordinary, these boxes have become the subject of fascination amongst conspiracy theorists in North America who call them 'FEMA coffins' and believe they are evidence of government plans for mass graves. In an age where the outbreak of a global virus or violence seems possible, these utilitarian containers have come to represent something much more malevolent and dangerous.
Santiago Sierra's past work highlights the use of the human body as material, like marble or canvas, in order to underline the imbalance in the power structures of capitalist economics. In this piece, it is the absence of bodies, or perhaps the potential for their inclusion that confronts the viewer, subtly confirming anxieties and underlining our obsessive and complex relationship with death.
Santiago Sierra was born in Madrid. His thought-provoking work in film, photography, performance and sculpture courts danger, invites criticism and has made the artist something of a pariah himself, at least in the art world. Enjoying a sustained period of global success culminating in his work for the Spanish Pavilion of the 2003 Venice Biennale, Sierra continues to push the boundaries of taste and acceptance even further, offering formal and poetic articulation of the voices of those who are marginalized or disenfranchised.
LegendOBLIVION Militant Nostalgia And the Transformation Reveals Facing the Sky Independent Projects Major Institutions Special Projects Event Centre Invictus 360°
Wellington Street West & John Street
Suitable for all ages
This project is outdoors.